Thanks Joe. I didnt realize this was an issue when I switched to PrP. Could be a deal breaker depending on how the Kona 3 performs. Without MPE on RED for example, it could demand lots of rendering which Adobe has promoted isnt necessary with some configs of it MPE / CUDA engine.
Karl Lee Soule had this to say
Tom, I believe this recently changed with the release of the new Kona drivers last week. It was true that the GPU benefits did not use to work when in an AJA preset timeline, because the AJA drivers didn't take advantage of it. But AJA rewrote the drivers.
AJA seems very non-specific about this. You'd think that if their cards and drivers were working in concert with Premiere Pro's GPU acceleration, they'd be making a bigger deal out of it.
From their news release, AJA Provides Enhanced Support of Adobe CS5.5 for Mac and Windows:
The software updates, AJA Windows Software 5.5 and AJA Mac Plugins for Adobe 9.0.1 bring added support for Adobe CS5.5 and dramatically improve AJA software performance with the Mercury Playback Engine in Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5.
They say "Mercury Playback Engine," but that's not necessarily indicative of the GPU-accelerated Mercury Playback Engine. MPE is on, all the time, whether you have a CUDA GPU or not, so this makes me think that this is just clever marketing that is taking advantage of the confusion surrounding what MPE actually is. I'd be curious to see some real results, myself; I'm interested in AJA hardware, too.
Very perceptive of you Colin. Im going to call them here in the US in about a half hour and see what they have to say. I have the utmost respesct and confidence in what they make and have used their Kona 3 for 5 years. Their tech support is admirable as well. Im glad they are the ones that will be dealing with this possible issue.
Definitely let us know what you find out. I'm assuming youre using the Kona card right now with CS5.5? All is well, even without a CUDA GPU?
Yes, I am using the Kona 3 with the new Adobe plugin drivers.
No there are issues but I need to confirm their nature before I say anything.
I don't know about the Kona card but you can definitely use more than one video card with PP5, unless they changed it with 5.5. I got rid of my BM card and just went with a second video card. Might not be a solution for you but it works great here.
It's in the FAQs here:
Thanks for the feedback Thrill. My workflow necessatates the multi functionality of the Kona 3 card. This includes output to an engineering/client monitor, digitizing from clients that still have images needed on tape, doing conversions in real time to tape for network requirements. I dont think a second graphics card would give me those options. Right? :-)
Yep, if you are still dealing with tape machines then that is an issue. I dumped all of my tape machines except for one little firewire machine, when I went to HD. Best!
As important as input and output to tape for certain projects is a reliable engineering monitor allowing accurate color judgements to be made. And image accuracy so clients dont freak out if a computer screen or cheap tv looks darker or redder that they think is right. :-)
"Premiere Pro is looooong overdue for a proper monitoring solution,
one that does not depend on closing or extending desktops,
one that does not depend on third party codecs at all,
one that works with just about any graphics card that has the appropriate port."
Yep, agreed. But you can get that with the right video card and monitor. Just not as many options for tape machines. Monitoring is not the issue, connectivity to tape machines seems to be your quandry.
Again, all three of my monitors match and the end result looks great and is within spec.
Good luck with it.
Monitoring is not the issue
It is if you want 480i to an SD CRT set, without using special hardware or presets.
In addition Kona 3 can do real time up or down conversion (to tape) that are clean. Lots of folks in FCP land are involved in doing long form shows for broadcast . 23:00 shows at 1080 need to be delivered in the manner the networks specify, which logically (at this point in time) is HD tape.
To be clear here, an AJA KONA or Io Express card WILL work in conjunction with Adobe approved nVidia 'CUDA' cards, and the GPU acceleration provided by the Mercury Engine.
When using an AJA card for monitoring, mastering, or other playout, the AJA cards do require that you use an AJA preset. However, those presets allow the Mercury Engine, including GPU acceleration, to do its thing on most file types. There are some uncompressed 10-bit RGB file types that AJA has additional support for, which, will not see the same GPU benefit, but for 99% of Premiere Pro users, their nVidia and AJA cards can work together.
The confusion is created to some degree by the fact that the AJA plugins for CS 5 did have some additional limitations which limited the performance bonus realized by the GPU acceleration when working in an AJA seqeuence in Premiere Pro. However, with CS 5.5, the performance bonus is greatly increased. While it is difficult to make a blanket statement like "4 RT streams" or "4 simultaneous RT effects" due to the number of potential variables that affect the performance of both the AJA plugins, and Premiere Pro, I can say with high confidence that those of you who use both an AJA video I/O card along with an approved nVidia graphics card, will see a great performance bonus relative to using the 'software only' version of Mercury Engine.
I can say, that on my own test system here, I run both Windows 7 and Mac OS using bootcamp on an older MacPro (2008, v3.1) with 8 cores and 8GB of RAM, and a Quadro FX 4800. On both operating systems I see similar results. I reliably see 3 RT streams, and sometimes more, with several different effects, running 1080i29.97 ProRes, DVCProHD, and uncompressed footage at full resolution out of a KONA LHi, and KONA 3G.
I have seen up to 6 streams with 6 effects run in real-time on this system, but that is generally with thin raster footage, at 24 or 25 fps. I certainly wont make the claim that you will always get this performance.
For those of you with more memory, newer systems, and newer nVidia cards, fast storage, lower resolutions, lower framerates, are likely to see better performance than this.
Thanks for the clarification, Thad.
...the AJA cards do require that you use an AJA preset.
Can a project that uses the AJA sequence presets be accessed
using a system that is not equipped with the AJA KONA card,
or will I end up with sequences that can only be accessed using
an identically configured AJA system?
If the system doesnt have a KONA card installed, Premiere will just use its own components to open the project. This is just automatically the way Premiere Pro will behave.
The only stuff that wont work in this case are any files that are created using AJA specific codecs, which can be installed by themselves, without the cards. In this case ONLY the codecs should be installed, not the Adobe plugins. Our Adobe plugin sets do require the cards to be present, as some of the features of the plugins are hardware dependent.
Thanks for the reply.
If I avoided AJA specific media codecs and plugins,
a project with an AJA sequence could be opened and edited
on any system with the same version of CS installed without
What performance or function would be sacrificed by
not using an AJA specific media codec?
Can an alternate capture codec be specified on ingest,
or will captured media need to be transcoded for compatibility
with a system that does not have AJA codecs installed?